PEOPLE WITH CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CANNOT BE OUR LAW MAKERS

People having Criminal Background and then joining politics is quite common practice in country like India. And it is a debatable topic and have been in issue since a long time.

In NGO’s plea, it was stated that in 2014 percentage of Lawmakers with criminal background is 34%. Further, according to a report by Association for Democratic Reforms one out of every three MP’s elected in 2014 or we can say 184 out of 542 winners had criminal cases against them, while the number was 158 in the 2009 Lok Sabha Election. Maharashtra has the higher number of winners with criminal cases against them followed by Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Karnataka.

In 2018, the apex court has directed the political parties to publish the details of Candidates with pending criminal cases against them on their website, social media, newspapers and other electronic medias.

On 24 Jan 2020, the Supreme Court has agreed with the proposition made by the Election Commission that the political parties should not give tickets to those with criminal antecedents. A bench led by Justice Rohinton F. Nariman and senior Advocate Vikas Singh remarked that 46% of Members of Parliament have Criminal records.

On 10 August 2021, Supreme Court observed that persons with Criminal antecedents cannot be permitted to became Law makers. But Supreme Court had not issued any direction for that stating that “Our hands are tied, we can only appeal to the conscience of the law maker”. 

A bench comprising Justices RF Nariman and BR Gavai said that “In view of the constitutional scheme of separation of powers, though we desire that something urgently requires to be done in the matter, our hands are tied and we cannot transgress into the area reserved for the legislative arm of the State”. Voters have right to information to know about the background and about the candidates of the political parties to whom he wants to vote. 

The court is considering the request made by Amicus Curiae Mr. Adv K.V. Viswanathan stated thatit should instruct the Election Commission Of India to invoke the powers under clause 16A of the Symbolic Order and take the necessary actions in accordance with the previous clauses to suspend or revoke the recognition of said political parties in accordance with the terms and conditions. These political parties are unaware of the instructions issued by the court in this regard. While in 2018 in the case of Public Interest Foundation v. Union of India the bench has refused to issue any direction stating that it will be against the law into the legislative domain. 

From my point of view entry procedure in politics should be changed, a person should be well qualified and should fulfil some requirements such as no criminal record. Further, a entrance exam should be made mandatory for someone who wants to join politics. We have seen or heard that some of the MP’s have not even passed higher education and such types of law maker are harmful for your society and for country also. What are your views on this topic you can share with us or mail us at probinglegal@gmail.com  

By Hanuwant Singh Rathore

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